martes, 29 de noviembre de 2016

Neanderthals: Not So Dumb


 
Neanderthals modified their survival strategies even without external influences like environmental or climate changes, according to an analysis using carbonate isotopy in fossilized teeth that 250,000 years ago, the ancestors of modern man were more advanced in their development than previously thought.

The fossils were from the excavation site at Payre in southeastern France. Carbonate is an essential mineral component of the hard tissue in bones and teeth. Among other things, the isotope composition in the carbonate reflects an organism’s drinking and feeding habits.

If the climate becomes cooler or warmer, species are forced to adapt their survival strategies – this also holds true for our ancestors, the extinct Neanderthals.

In order to gain insights into the environment these young Neanderthals inhabited, Professor Dr. Hervé Bocherens of the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment at the University of Tübingen and colleagues also examined the isotope composition in the carbonate from herbivorous and carnivorous large mammals. “The carbon and oxygen isotopes of the horses, red deer, rhinoceroses, wolves and hyenas that lived during this time period were stable. We can therefore assume that no changes in the environmental conditions occurred during that time.” [...] science20.com / Link 2